Top Summer Movie #10: It’s The Circle of Life!
THE LION KING
Release Date: June 15, 1994
Tickets Sold: 78,786,452
Total Box Office (Adjusted): $599,564,900
Simba, a Lion cub set to be King, is just hanging out when his creepy Uncle Scar overturns the pride land. Simba bails, grows up with a pig and a meerkat a few oasis’ away and starts living the dream (Hakuna Matata). After a visit from his old girlfriend, Nala, he realizes it’s probably time to get a job and enter the real world, so he plots a comeback.
Wow Factor: Disney. There was a time when Disney animation kicked ass and took names. Yes, they still do, but there was a 5-10 year period where shit got real: Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and then The Lion King…Yep, shut up! That’s what we like to call a Murderers Row.
Re-Watchability: The thing about cartoons is this: Everyone has a kid, or a younger brother, or a nephew or a granddaughter. Let’s face it, kids are everywhere. Disney gets the kids excited for the first couple weeks of release and then it happens. Crap! You realize that The Lion King is pretty good and think to yourself, I could go see this movie with my buddy and his kids when THEY go. OR I could take a girl to it. OR I’ll just go again because I wanna see Timon try to feed Pumbaa to the hyenas again! The mixture of adult humor with comedy aimed at a younger audience makes it easy to take extra trips to the theaters. (I saw it twice)
Improvement: I bet if you asked the average person on the street what they would do as far as improvements to the movie, most people would say take out the Mufasa dying part. That’s stupid. Yes, it’s sad, but without that there is no Lion King. It kicks the whole thing into gear, so no…can’t take that out. A real improvement might be the goose stepping hyenas during Scar’s takeover song. (Little dark there, probably not great material for children.) Maybe have the hyenas be Russians. You know, kinda scary, but not really.
Lessons Learned: Summer movie lesson: G rated Disney movies that take amazing African animal footage and turn it into a fun loving cartoon with kick ass music and crazy monkeys = win at the box office.
armovieguys score: 9 out of 10.
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